The Harappan Civilization

•    Various archeological sources tell us about the life of Harappan people. These include the Great Bath, the Citadel, Harappan Seals and terracotta objects.
•    In ancient India, there existed an urban civilisation named ‘Harappan civilisation’ or ‘Indus Valley Civilisation’. Emergence of Civilisation took place on the banks of river Indus and its tributaries. It extended till modern Baluchistan, Sind, Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat and Western Uttar Pradesh.
•    Sites of Indus Valley civilisation in Pakistan include Harappa, Mohenjodaro, etc., while those in India include Lothal, Rakhigarhi, Kalibangan, etc.
•    Harappans followed a rectangular pattern while laying roads, which were paved with bricks. In Harappan cities, sharp turns in roads were avoided. Harappans built many buildings, including double storeyed houses, which were made of burnt bricks.
•    Harappa city had important buildings, like Great Granary and Assembly hall. Harappan Drainage System comprised covered drains, covered with stone, running into large drain, along main road.
•    Harappans conducted both internal and external trade, through both land and sea. They were engaged in flourishing trade both within and outside India. They also developed systematic scales and precise weights for accurate weighing and measurement of goods.
•    Harappan pottery was made of red clay, with black colour painted on it. Harappans made beaded jewellery, using various types of stone and other materials. They also did various other crafts, including metal craftsmanship and cloth weaving.
•    Harappan agriculture, wherein several crops were cultivated, proved sufficient for the urban population. Harappans also domesticated many animals.
•    While clay was abundantly available, Harappans procured stone, wood and metal from distant regions, via land and water.
•    Harappan seals, made of steatite, provide valuable information about Harappan people. Indus script, which contained over 400 signs, has not yet been deciphered.
•    Harappans worshipped a mother goddess, mythical creatures, and a God regarded as a proto-Shiva. They also buried their dead with objects of daily use.
•    Origin and Decline of Harappan civilization has been debated. It declined due to many possible reasons – invasion of Aryans, natural calamities, or increased salinity of soil.

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  • Q1

    (a) State the objectives of the Khalistan Movement under the leadership of the Akali Dal. [6]

    (b) Discuss the consequences of the Khalistan Movement. [6]


    (a) Demands of Akali Dal, which led the Khalistan movement, based on Anandpur Saheb Resolution, which was adopted by the party in October, 1973; were as follows:

    1. Transfer of federally administered city of Chandigarh to Punjab.

    1. Transfer of Punjabi-speaking areas of Haryana to Punjab

    1. Decentralization of states under the existing constitution, limiting the Central government’s role.

    1. Call for land reforms and industrialization of Punjab, along with safeguarding rights of weaker sections of population.

    1. Enactment of an All-India Gurudwara Act.

    1. Protection of minorities living outside Punjab, but within India.

    1. Reservation of government’s recruitment quota, restricting the number of Sikhs in armed forces.


    1. The Khalistan Movement, especially when its members resorted to terrorism in the 1980s, led to large-scale violence, leading to several losses of lives and property, along with suffering by Hindus and Sikhs of Punjab.

    1. The movement also highlighted the need for a decisive and swift state action to combat communalism and terrorism, both politically and ideologically. The indecisiveness of the centre in combating communalism in Punjab, and appeasing the Akalis by giving in to several of their demands, rather than placating them, intensified their demands for a separate Sikh state – Khalistan.
    1. The Khalistan Movement had also led to the rise in the political importance of the Akalis. Till the 1970s, despite their call for an independent state, dominated by the Sikh majority, the Akali Movement was unable to capture power on its own. But, during the 1980s, the Akalis’ electoral fortunes increased. Following state elections in 1985, it was able to capture state power on its own.
    1. The movement also highlighted the need to separate religion from politics. The Akalis regularly denied separation of both from each other, and used religion to meet their political ends. Appeasement of their communal demands gradually led to rising extremism and eventually terrorism, which could not be successfully countered till the early 1990s.
    1. Another consequence of the Khalistan Movement, although ironical, was that, despite its goals, it was unable to gain popular support among the Sikhs. It had repeatedly tried to gain power through elections, till the 1970s, but was unable to do so. Its resorting to terrorism further alienated itself from the Sikh people, who strongly resisted them.
    1. Another consequence of the Khalistan movement was that it exposed the hollowness of difference between moderates and extremists, both of which fought for the same ideology. The Akali government, under Barnala, shared the same ideology as the terrorists. Hence, it was incapable of combating terrorism. Even when President’s Rule was imposed in 1987, negotiations and appeasement were still carried out with terrorists and communalists, who openly supported secession. It was only brutal police action, since 1992, which resolved the problem of communalism and terrorism in Punjab, once and for all.

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  • Q2

    (a) Trace the developments leading to the rise of the Naxal Movement in West Bengal. [6]

    (b) What measures did the government adopt to suppress the Naxal Movement? [6]



    1. In Naxalbari, a village in West Bengal, a section of Communist Party of India (Marxist), under Kanu Sanyal and Jangal Santhal, launched a violent uprising in 1967.

    1. On 18th May, the Siliguri Kisan Sabha declared support for the movement.

    1. The following week, a sharecropper near Naxalbari was attacked by a landlord’s men over a land dispute.

    1. When the police team arrived to arrest the peasant leader, it was ambushed by a group of tribals led by Jangal Santhal. A police inspector was killed by arrows.

    1. The leaders of the movement belonged to CPI (M), which was in a coalition government in West Bengal. They did not approve of the armed uprising.

    1. Subsequently, all the leaders and a number of Calcutta sympathizers were expelled from the party.


    1. As the Naxalite movement spread, the government became conscious of this new threat to the democratic structure.

    1. It organised joint operations by army and police in the bordering districts of West Bengal, Bihar and Odisha.

    1. Under these operations, many suspected Naxalites were arrested.

    1. Illicit weapons, ammunition and explosives were also seized.

    1. Simultaneous operations were also conducted in many neighbouring areas, which achieved some results.

    1. The arrest and subsequent death of Charu Majumdar, an important leader of the Naxalite movement, marked the end of a phase of the movement.

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  • Q3

    (a) Examine the role of the Syndicate in the appointment of Lal Bahadur Shastri as Prime Minister of India. [6]

    (b) Give a brief account of the circumstances that led to the split in Congress, in 1969. [6]


    1. After the death of Jawaharlal Nehru in 1964, a succession crisis occurred. It was ultimately resolved under the direction of a group of Congress leaders, called the Syndicate, which had been formed in 1963.

    1. There were two contenders for the leadership of the Congress Party and, simultaneously, the post of Prime Minister – Morarji Desai and Lal Bahadur Shastri. The former was senior, more experienced, a good administrator and honest. But he was highly unpopular among the party circles, unlike Shastri; who was highly respected as mild, tactful, malleable and incorruptible.

    1. The Syndicate comprised the Congress President – K. Kamaraj – and many regional party bosses. This group favoured Lal Bahadur Shastri over Morarji Desai. They hoped that the former would consider their wishes and not challenge the party leadership.

    1. As the Syndicate was keen to avoid competition and factionalism within the party, Kamaraj asserted that only the candidate that was more acceptable among party MPs would be appointed the party leader and Prime Minister.

    1. Desai, despite knowing how the Syndicate had stage-managed the succession issue, accepted the verdict and quietly quit the race for the posts of both the Congress President and Prime Minister of India.

    1. Ultimately, Lal Bahadur Shastri was elected unopposed as the parliamentary leader by the party MPs. He was also sworn in as the Prime Minister within a week of Nehru’s death, i.e. on 2nd June, 1964.


    1. In 1967 elections, despite regaining its power in the Centre, the Congress lost its majority in several Indian states. In West Bengal and Kerala, the Left emerged victorious, while in many Hindi states, the rightist Samyukta Vidhyak Dal came to power.

    1. After becoming Prime Minister of India, Mrs. Indira Gandhi quickly asserted her control and took several independent steps. She took over the finance portfolio from Morarji Desai. She also passed the bank nationalization ordinance, a move independent of the Syndicate’s decision, which was disliked by the latter.
    1. In 1969, President Zakir Hussain died. The Syndicate chose Sanjiva Reddy as its Presidential candidate. Mr. V.V. Giri, the Vice-President, filed his nomination as an independent. Mrs. Gandhi openly supported the latter, who won.
    1. Subsequently, Mrs. Gandhi was served a show-cause notice, by the party, for indiscipline. When she did not reply to the notice, she was expelled from the party. This became reason for the split.
    1. Another reason for the split was the clash of the leftist versus rightist ideologies of the Congress (I) and Congress (O). Mrs. Gandhi had a more leftist agenda, which appealed greatly to the poverty-stricken masses at that time. She also wanted to have greater ties with the Soviet Union, which the Congress (O), under its conservative agenda, greatly distrusted. It wanted greater alignment with the West, especially the U.S.
    1. The Syndicate-led Congress faction was known as the Congress (O), while that led by Indira Gandhi was known as Congress (R), and later Congress (I). As the latter had the support of more MPs, Indira Gandhi retained control of the government, despite being ousted from the party.

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  • Q4

    1. Why was there a change in the attitude of the British government towards India at the end of World War II? [6]

    1. List the main proposals of the Cabinet Mission Plan. [6]


    1. By the time, World War II reached its end, the British attitude towards India changed, due to the following reasons:

    1. Following the end of the war, the global political situation had been drastically altered – America and Russia emerged as the new superpowers.

    1. The war also sounded the death knell of imperialism and colonialism, as many countries were now breaking away from the rule of their colonial masters.
    1. Despite being a victor in the war, Britain had lost both its power and position in global politics.
    1. British soldiers, which were stationed in India, to suppress any popular uprising, felt homesick, and wanted to return home.
    1. During the INA trials, there were massive protests all over the country against the British, as those who were tried were regarded as national heroes.
    1. The British also faced revolts from the Indian Navy, while mass-scale labour unrests simultaneously crippled the Indian economy.

    1. The main proposals of the Cabinet Mission, which was sent to India to chalk out a plan for the creation of a newly independent India, were as follows:

    1. The Cabinet Mission proposed the formation of a Union of India, comprising British India and Princely States.

    1. The Union government could control only foreign affairs, defence and communications.
    1. Provision was made for three groups of provinces to possess their separate constitutions.
    1. The existing provincial assemblies would be grouped into three sections, and the Constituent Assembly would be elected.
    1. The three groups of provinces were:

    1. Section A of the Hindu majority provinces

    1. Sections B and C for Muslim-majority provinces of the north-west and the north-east (including Assam) respectively
    1. All provinces were allowed to set up their own intermediate-level executives and legislatures.

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  • Q5

    1. What was the significance of Attlee’s Declaration of 20th February, 1947?

    1. Name the Indian nationalist leader who played a vital role in the integration of princely states with the Indian Union.

    1. Mention the principle on which the first general election in India (1952) was based.

    1. With reference to the Congress party in the 1960s, what is meant by the term Syndicate?

    1. What is the significance of the Historic Eight Documents?

    1. Who was the first non-Congress Prime Minister of India?

    1. Why was Operation Blue Star launched?

    1. What are the five principles of peaceful co-existence mutually agreed upon by India and China known as?

    1. Mention the controversial issue that led to the outbreak of the First Indo-Pak War (1948-1949).

    1. Name the Report (published in 1974) that deals with issues related to the status of women in India.

    1. Name two alliances signed between Italy, Germany and Japan.

    1. Explain the term island hopping with reference to the war in the Pacific.

    1. Why was there a temporary truce between the KMT and CCP in 1936?

    1. What part did the Mau Mau secret society play in the Kenyan struggle for freedom from British rule?

    1. Why did Stalin establish the Cominform?

    1. Who introduced the policies of the Glasnost and Perestroika in the USSR?

    1. Which organisation led the movement against communism in Poland?

    1. Name the two democrat Presidents who were sympathetic to the demands of black Americans?

    1. Who wrote the book The Feminine Mystique that sparked off the Second Wave of American Feminism in the 20th century?

    1. What was the immediate reaction of the Arab states to the creation of the new State of Israel in 1948?


    1. The statement made by British Prime Minister, Attlee, on 20th February, 1947, that power would be transferred to Indians by June 1948; signified that India’s independence was all but inevitable.

    1. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the ‘Iron Man of India’, as the head of the States Department in independent India, played a vital role in integrating many princely states into the Indian Union.
    1. The first general election was held in India, in 1952, on the basis of universal adult franchise, i.e. voting rights were granted to all adults, irrespective of their economic or ethnic background, or gender.
    1. During the 1960s, the Syndicate faction of the Indian National Congress, headed by K.K. Kamaraj, decided who should lead the government. After Nehru’s death (1964), it chose Lal Bahadur Shastri as the Prime Minster. When he died in 1967, it chose Nehru’s daughter, Indira Gandhi, as the Prime Minister.
    1. The Historic Eight Documents, a series of articles written by Kanu Sanyal, one of the co-leaders of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), provided the ideological foundation of the Naxalites, which emphasized on armed struggle as the means to attain revolution, as was the case in China.
    1. The first ever non-Congress government, in independent India, was established in 1977, with Morarji Desai as its Prime Minister.
    1. During the 1980s, some members of the Khalistan Movement resorted to violence to attain their goal of creating an independent Sikh state of Punjab. In 1984, they took shelter in the Holy Golden Temple, at Amritsar. To flush them out, Indian security forces launched Operation Blue Star.
    1. The five principles of peaceful coexistence, which were jointly accepted by both India and China, in 1954, are collectively known as Panchsheel.
    1. The First Indo-Pak War (1948-49) broke out after Indian forces counter-attacked Pakistani intruders, who had invaded Kashmir in October 1947.
    1. The Report of 1974, which deals with the issues that are related to the status of women in India, was known as ‘Towards Equality, the Report of the Committee on the Status of Women in India.’
    1. The two pacts signed jointly by Germany, Italy and Japan; were:
    1. Anti-Comintern Pact or Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis (signed in 1937)

    1. Tripartite Pact or Berlin Pact (signed in 1940)
    1. During World War II, Japan, one of the Axis countries, occupied many regions, including the Pacific islands. In response, America and its allies captured all islands, by hopping between each island. This shortened distance to Japan, whose supply lines were cut off, leading to its defeat in 1945.

    1. When Japan invaded China in 1937, both the Chinese Communists and the Kuomintang temporarily allied with each other against the former. They jointly resisted Japan, till its defeat in 1945.
    1. The Mau Mau secret society in Kenya, whose members were largely from the Kikuyu tribes, carried out several violent attacks on Europeans and their farms. This was because many Kikuyu people had been deprived of several best lands by the white settlers, who strongly despised the natives.
    1. Stalinist Russia created the Cominform, or the Communist Information Bureau, simultaneously with the Molotov Plan. Its intention was to ensure that all communist governments in East Europe would toe the line of Moscow.
    1. The policies of Glasnost (openness) and Perestroika (restructuring) were introduced by Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Premier of the Soviet Union, to revitalize and change Russia.
    1. During the 1980s, a trade union movement – Solidarity – under the leadership of Lech Walesa, led an anti-communist movement in Poland. It ultimately succeeded in its effort, by 1990.
    1. Two American Presidents of the Democratic Party, who were sympathetic towards the demands of the black people were – John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson.
    1. The second wave of American Feminism commenced in 1960s, and lasted till the late 1980s. It was sparked by the book ‘The Feminine Mystique’, whose author was Betty Friedan, an American writer, activist and feminist.
    1. As soon as the country of Israel officially came into existence, on 1st August, 1948; it was jointly attacked by three Arab countries – Egypt, Syria and Jordan. They eventually tasted defeat at Israel’s hands.

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